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June 25, 2008

Consul General of France names new Honorary Consul

(June 25, 2008) – St. Louis (June 25, 2008) – After serving for more than 17 years, St. Louis lawyer James F. Mauzé (Ottsen, Mauzé, Leggat & Belz, L.C.) announced that he is retiring from his duties as the Honorary Consul to France to pursue his law practice and other interests and to give others the opportunity to serve. During his years of service, Mauzé was instrumental in encouraging relations between French leaders and Missouri business and governmental leaders; facilitating the bilateral foreign trade process; and ensuring that each new French Ambassador to the United States and Consul General of Chicago frequently visited the state. In addition, Mauzé was also responsible for performing different diplomatic duties and other services.
Due to Mauzé's retirement, St. Louis native James A. Cooper has been appointed the new Honorary French Consul in St. Louis by the French Government. Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière, Consul General of France in Chicago, announced that Cooper will officially assume his duties and responsibilities on July 1 upon approval by the U.S. Department of State. Mauzé will become Consul Emeritus.
Cooper is co-founder and managing principal of St. Louis-based private equity firm Thompson Street Capital Partners. As Honorary Consul of France, Cooper will be responsible for diplomatic duties and services to the French community in Missouri

"Jim Mauzé has done a wonderful job serving in this role, so I have very big shoes to fill. My focus will be to continue his good work, providing for the needs of French citizens and visiting French governmental officials with a focus on sustaining the economic development between Missouri and France," Cooper said.

Cooper currently serves on the St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation Development Board and is a member of the foundation finance committee. Jim also serves as a member of the University of Missouri MBA Advisory Board. Read more…

February 7, 2008

The Only French Colonial Village Left in the United States

(February 7, 2008) – Washington, D.C. (February 7, 2008) - Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Ste. Genevieve, Missouri to its 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Since 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across the United States that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and commitments to historic preservation, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.

One hour south of St. Louis, is the thriving community of Ste. Genevieve, whose charm and ambience is rooted in its singular collection of 18th century French colonial structures-a concentration greater than anywhere else in the United States.

The town boasts more than 150 pre-1825 structures, many of which are open to the public, including gems such as The Bolduc House (1785), The Amoureaux House (1792), the Felix Vallé State Historic Site, built in 1818, and the 1806 Guibourd-Valle House with its Norman style trusses. Visitors can also tour the historic Memorial Cemetery where many of Ste. Genevieve's distinguished early inhabitants are buried.

"The treasure trove of French colonial life preserved in Ste. Genevieve provides an incomparable look into the pioneer spirit of the early settlers," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "History truly comes alive in this vital town and its Gallic charm beckons you to amble through the streets and journey back in time."

"Here in Ste. Genevieve we understand the value of our historic and cultural resources, both because they reflect our community's unique identity, and because of the importance of heritage tourism to the local economy," said mayor Richard Greminger." "This designation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation complements the Trust's active support of flood protection for Ste. Genevieve."

The well-preserved architecture of Ste. Genevieve is complemented by other area activities. Outdoor enthusiasts will find Ste. Genevieve and the surrounding area a great place for hiking, fishing and visiting a variety of state parks. Within an easy drive are Hawn State Park, Hickory Canyon Wildlife Refuge, Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area and Mark Twain National Forest. In addition, Ste. Genevieve's quiet streets turn lively with a wide variety of annual special events centered on the historic downtown area By celebrating the King's Ball in February, Garden Walk in May, a French Heritage Festival in June, Jour de Fete in August, and the Le Revillion and La Guignolee in December, Ste. Genevieve blends its rich Gallic history with its contemporary community.

The 2008 list of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations includes:

Aiken, S.C.-Aiken seamlessly balances its varied 19th century heritage with cosmopolitan flair to offer all the necessary ingredients for a great vacation.

Apalachicola, Fla.- Apalachicola, an authentic coastal town renowned for its mouth-watering seafood and singular charm, features a waterfront dotted with fishing vessels, a downtown filled with eclectic shops and streets lined with historic buildings.

Columbus, Miss.-The birthplace of prize-winning playwright, Tennessee Williams, Columbus thrives on its extraordinary mix of Southern history, natural beauty and culture-with antebellum homes spared during the Civil War and historic tours showcasing the remarkable impact of the African American community to a revitalized Main Street that possesses great curb appeal.

Crested Butte, Colo.-One of the most charming vacation destinations in the Rockies, this former coal mining village is a recreational paradise that offers a rare mix of rugged beauty, history and adventure no matter the time of year.

Fort Davis, Texas-With no traffic lights or chain stores, Fort Davis is a gateway to an unspoiled terrain, offering an extraordinary blend of majestic scenery, abundant wildlife and cultural resources that bring to life the history of the 19th century western frontier.

Friday Harbor, Wash.-This small, well-preserved community in the San Juan Island chain is one square mile of perfection-an antidote to city life, ideal for outdoor adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Portland, Ore.- Boasting both the charm of a small town community and the urban vitality of a big city, Portland, Oregon is a dynamic destination that offers an alluring mix of natural beauty, lively downtown entertainment and landmark historic attractions.

Portsmouth, N.H.-This elegant seaport, the nation's third oldest city, is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country with its captivating blend of coastal beauty, historic buildings and lively downtown.

Red Wing, Minn.-Conveniently located one hour south of the Twin Cities, this handsome historic town features a treasure trove of architectural gems dating back to its beginnings as a riverfront trade point as well as an enviable natural environment.

Ste. Genevieve, Mo.-One hour south of St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve is the only French colonial village remaining in the United States, providing an unparalleled glimpse into the pioneer spirit of the early settlers.

San Juan Bautista, Calif.-Known as the "City of History" because of its exceptional collection of Spanish colonial architecture, San Juan Bautista showcases Old California like no other.

Wilmington, N.C.-From riverboats to battleships, grand old mansions to historic museums, splendid gardens to Civil War sites-Wilmington, North Carolina has a charm and style all its own that dates back nearly three centuries.

This is the ninth time the National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced a list of Dozen Distinctive Destinations. To date, there are 108 Distinctive Destinations located in 42 states throughout the country. To see a complete list, visit In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town's character and sense of place. Whether by enacting a local preservation law to protect historic buildings against demolition, rewriting zoning codes to prevent commercial sprawl, removing regulatory barriers to downtown housing, making downtown areas more walkable, enacting design standards, or taking some other major step that demonstrates a strong commitment to their town, residents have worked hard to preserve the historic and scenic assets of their communities, with rewards that transcend town limits. Read more…

May 24, 2007

(May 24, 2007) – ST. LOUIS, MO....LES AMIS, the Mid-Mississippi Valley's Creole cultural preservationist organization and FRENCH HERITAGE SOCIETY, which supports French architectural patrimony in both the United States and France, will enjoy a new association.

Robert Fulstone, President of Les Amis, and Jane Bernbach, French Heritage Society's Special Projects Coordinator for Ste. Genevieve and the liaison between FHS and the mid-Mississippi River Valley's Creole heritage, made the announcement jointly at Les Amis' Annual Meeting on May 24 at the Racquet Club/Ladue in St. Louis County.

The two organizations share the common goals of preserving the best of France's legacy from its once great empire in the New World which extended from Quebec down the St. Lawrence Valley to the Mississippi River Valley and finally to the Gulf of Mexico. Les Amis' perimeters are defined by the region extending from Cahokia-Chester, Illinois on the east bank of the river and from Ste. Genevieve-St. Louis on the west bank. This Creole District was just nominated a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE on April 1 for the first stage of what will be a formal international approval process. French Heritage Society, founded in 1982 with a mission to preserve architecture in the United States and in France, has provided over 10 million dollars, including matching funds, to the restoration of more than 400 significant monuments including châteaux, churches, historic buildings and gardens, and continues to support meaningful educational exchanges between the two countries. Read more…